Weber County Poll Consolidation Leads To Confusion
OGDEN, Utah – Weber County officials moved all polling machines and workers to one location on Super Tuesday, citing a high number of mail-in ballots and adding it would help get voters through the process faster.
However, some voters said they had no idea the county would have only one location at Union Station until after they showed up at their usual voting precinct.
“We didn’t know until we actually went to the poll location in North Ogden,” said resident Peter Farley.
Officials said around 26,000 ballots were mailed in before Super Tuesday, marking around 40% of Weber County votes.
“Over the years, we’ve noticed that 10% of our voters or less are voting in person,” said Weber County elections director Ryan Cowley. “But yet, consistently we’ve had some times where there’s long lines and things like that. And in our polling places, we’ve got some great polling places at our libraries, but there’s no room to expand or put in addition resources and things like that, and so it becomes very compact and people have sometimes had to wait in lines for long periods of time.”
Officials said the information was posted online; some said it wasn’t made clear while others said they got it just fine. But a big concern from several voters is that only one location might make it more difficult for some people to get out and vote.
“People coming on their way to work and on the way home from work are not going to come down here, because it’s out of the way, so it basically discourages people from the opportunity to vote,” Farley said.
Cowley said they learn from each election, and they’ll closely watch how this single location works out on Tuesday.
There were around ten poll workers to voters in and print out their ballots. From there, dozens of stations were set up to cast votes and several machines would scan in the ballots.
“We have greater access to the ballot now than we ever have in our history in Utah,” he said. “Even with one polling place, everybody’s getting that ballot mailed to their house, as long as they keep their registration up to date.”
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